So at the end of the last post William had played his first module and was ready and willing to play much much more. My parents watch my nephews in the mornings before summer school so when my youngest nephew, Drayton, was dropped off the next morning that was all that William could talk about. Since I had a sleepover planned with Drayton I figured this would be super easy. I could run him through the same module and they could join up some how. When they got back from Summer School William kept trying to convince Drayton what race and class to be. Drayton didn’t seem very interested but like a good little brother listened and acted like he cared. That night Drayton decided he didn’t want to play D&D and didn’t bring the dice I had given to him and William.
About half way through the night Drayton said he wanted to play. We couldn’t because all of the needed dice were at his house and it was close to 10PM. I told him what we could do is roll up his character and the next morning we could start our adventures. He agreed.
Drayton’s character creation was a bit longer and harder than William’s. Mainly because William had been telling him all day long what to do, who to be, etc. When we sat down and I explained all of his options he seemed very reserved. He didn’t want to make a mistake and choose the wrong thing. I told him there were no right and wrong choices just different and then showed the differences. Eventually he decided to be a Gnomish Fighter, just like his brother, named Obituary (His dad is a huge death metal fan). The other part that made it hard for me was that Drayton had rolled better for his ability scores and I was trying to find a way to balance the characters so that both characters were roughly the same. This has everything to do with them as people and nothing to do with the game itself. If one or the other was significantly more successful than the other I’d lose both to distracting behavior. One way I was able to mitigate this was by convincing Drayton to use a different weapon than William. This proved to be the perfect way to explain away any of the differences between battle successes. The most problematic score being the strength score. William: 16 Drayton: 18-96. I figured role playing their ability scores would be hard so as long as they weren’t too reckless I just let them play.
Once Drayton’s character was made then it was a simple matter of introducing him to the party and going from there. I decided to introduce them to the classic Fantasy RPG troupe the tavern. During character creation Drayton decided to be William’s characters’ brother. This made a few things much easier when it comes to role playing for them in addition to some ideas for future adventures. They meet in the tavern and over heard a guard talking about some troubles and it was off to the races. I had them free the Keep on the Borderlands from an enchantment put on it by two gods. Drayton was very similar to William with his role play. They both fully embraced the idea that they were these characters and were hilarious in acting out some of the better scenes. Drayton was much more grittier in his descriptions and literally used words like slay and destroy in the proper context. Both played their own personalities but with the addition of characters it was really more like a caricature of themselves. During this they were able to kill many giant spiders, free a camp of lawful good goblins, utterly destroy a pack of totally evil kobolds and eventually free the keep. The logical ending for that part of the adventure was when they had freed the keep and were trying to make a decision on whether to return to the keep or travel elsewhere in the lands.
Much like with William, Drayton had a natural ability to role play his character. He came up with an idea for his character and went with it. Having William there to help with what to roll for initiative and attacks was honestly very helpful. He liked having the role of teacher and I was more than willing to let him. It did help if I was busy trying to figure up how much damage was done. From a DM standpoint it was much easier playing two NPC’s for the group instead of three. However I didn’t think much about how I had made the group and as a random and unthought of situation the mage (Sugaris) and cleric (Glavnia) NPC’s were females and my nephews decided they were going to date and eventually marry them. Again it was funny and awkward trying to convince my nephews as the NPC’s to leave them alone. Drayton who is the artist of the two did some artwork during the multiple sessions I played with them while I was on vacation. Some of it was showing his love and appreciation for his chosen mate Sugaris the mage. The funniest parts for me were listening to them figure out who was going to date whom. Overall game play went really well. They roleplayed and were completely in the universe.
Drayton coming to the group did add a differnt feel to the group. I played the NPC Drayton replaced very middle of the road and bland. Drayton was very gritty and gory with his descriptions. His personality and game play helped me come up with very different encounters for them. With William I was following the module but there were plenty of extra encounters i didn’t use to prevent it from being too deadly. Drayton’s presence helped me make the combat encounters more deadly and not be afraid for them. This also made the overall game play a little more combat driven. For these two it wasn’t a big deal because they role played through everything.
We ended up playing at least 10 hours all together. I truly feel all of that time spent with them was super beneficial for me as a DM. I will go further into that and talk about an google hangouts session with them on the next and final installment of D&D with the Nephews.